The Italian Law n.76/2016 introduced in Italy the possibility of contracting marriage between persons of the same sex. Under Italian Law, the same-sex marriages are called civil unions (unioni civili).
To give validity to the civil union in Italy, the Italian citizen spouse (who has contracted marriage abroad according to the local law) must submit the marriage certificate to the Italian relevant office (the Italian Consulate if he/she lives abroad or the Italian City Hall if he/she resides in Italy) for the purposes of transcription in Italy into the register of civil unions.
The spouse of an Italian citizen of the same sex can apply for Italian citizenship by marriage.
For the purpose of requesting Italian citizenship, the date to be considered is the date of marriage/civil union and not the date of transcription in Italy into the register of civil unions.
If the couple lives outside of Italy, the spouse can apply for Italian citizenship after 3 years from the date of the marriage/civil union; if the couple has children the term could be reduced to 18 months.
Note: Italian spouse must be registered as a resident at the Italian Consular District (AIRE office).
If the couple lives in Italy, the spouse can apply for Italian citizenship after 2 years from the date of the marriage/civil union; if the couple has children the term could be reduced to 12 months.
Note: the spouse of an Italian citizen must be registered as a resident at Italian City Hall for at least two years after marriage/civil union, or after 1 year if the couple has children.
In both cases:
- the certificate of marriage/civil union must have been transcribed in the registers of Civil Status of the Italian City Hall;
- the spouses must cohabit at the same address for the entire duration of the application;
- the applicant must have the certified knowledge of the Italian language at level B1;
- the applicant must have no criminal convictions.
The Italian citizenship by marriage will not be granted in case of: divorce, legal or de-facto separation of the couple, annulment of marriage, decease of the Italian spouse in the course of the application.
The deadline for granting citizenship by marriage (if all the mandatory requirements will be provided) is 4 years from the application.
If the Italian spouse has acquired Italian citizenship by naturalization after the date of the marriage/civil union, the time frame required by the Italian Law (i.e. 2 years of residence/marriage in Italy or 3 years of marriage abroad) starts from the date of Italian naturalization.
According to an Italian Ministerial Circular, the foreign spouse of the Italian citizen who moves to Italy after three years of marriage/civil union spent abroad, can submit the request for Italian citizenship by marriage to the Italian Authorities without waiting two years of registered residence with the Italian City Hall.
ItalianPapers can assist you for the entire length and in all aspects of the process of acquiring Italian citizenship by same-sex marriage. Feel free to contact us for further info.
Avv. Paola Caputi